Archive for the 'Men/Women' Category

24
Feb
07

A Rotten Egg In A Bird’s Nest (My Guilty Pleasure of Fisking Uccellina)

I know it has been several months since I’ve posted something on this blog. I’ve been tied up with other matters, but the beast has been stirred from its slumber by a chattering bird in a nest. The blogger of the site in question is apparently the same woman who caused another anti-feminist site some problems. I would ignore her, except for the fact that she has taken issue with this blog and the “Catalog of Anti-Male Shaming Tactics.” Like most feminist bloggers I’ve seen, the vigor in which she burns her straw-MRAs is not matched by a sound grasp of certain inconvenient facts. Attend to my “guilty pleasure” of fisking “Uccellina” as I deal with a little rotten egg of hers …

“But for a really guilty pleasure, I read conservative websites. Specifically, I read Men’s Rights Activism sites and blogs, and have ever since the eensy-weensy … that erupted on my blog a few months back. I don’t comment on them, but I read them. And I do not lightly dismiss them.”

Ah! But when Uccellina’s hand gets called in her portrayal of MRAs as “conservative” she admits

“I’ve noticed the same thing you have, Serin – that MRAs have a broad range of political opinions on issues other than gender and feminism. Their opinions on those issues, however, may safely be deemed conservative opinions. Therefore I feel secure in labeling websites devoted to MRA ‘conservative websites.'”

I suppose anyone to right of Karl Marx would seem to be “conservative” to a feminist. I do not exaggerate too much when I say that (as this academic work attests). As for issues “other than gender and feminism,” how many feminists do you know who aren’t groupies for the Democratic Party or some socialist outfit? Of course, they’ll probably declare the mainstream of the Democratic party as being “sell-outs” … until it comes their time to rally around a President who likes to grope women. Feminists are essentially leftist and statist. To say that feminists address the concerns of women is like saying Communists address the concerns of workers. I suppose women like Wendy McElroy would belie the notion that all feminists are Maoists with mascara, but the true believers don’t accept her. Uccellina says …

“I’m interested in these sites for several reasons, not the least of which is the sucking vacuum created by the absence of logic in most of their arguments. I also enjoy the back-slapping atmosphere of boyish camaraderie, and the grammatically adventurous venom unleashed on dissenters. But beyond these small pleasures is the voyeuristic fascination of finding out how these people think, and how they interact when they’re in groups of like-minded people. My point is not to expose these Men’s Rights Activists and anti-feminists as hypocritical and misogynistic – they accomplish that all by themselves. What I find much more interesting is the systematic co-opting of the language of oppression.”

“Absence of logic”? Since when have feminists been concerned about logic? Hmmm, what’s wrong with this picture? Ah, yes! I know. Have no fear! Regender.com will fix the problem. Here we go – an apt description of how I feel about feminist blogs:

“I’m interested in these sites for several reasons, not the least of which is the sucking vacuum created by the absence of logic in most of their arguments. I also enjoy the back-slapping atmosphere of girlish camaraderie, and the grammatically adventurous venom unleashed on dissenters. But beyond these small pleasures is the voyeuristic fascination of finding out how these people think, and how they interact when they’re in groups of like-minded people. My point is not to expose these Women’s Rights Activists and anti-masculists as hypocritical and misandristic – they accomplish that all by themselves. What I find much more interesting is the systematic co-opting of the language of oppression.

Yep. That sounds like Pandagon.net in spades! As for “co-opting the language of oppression”, would that be referring to a bunch of bourgeoise, white women co-opting the language of the Civil Rights Movement?

“Feminism, they say, is a cult of victimhood. And yet the anti-feminists have codified their own list of victimization. The Catalog of Anti-Male Shaming Tactics is a perennial favorite on MRA sites.”

Bzzz! The list doesn’t categorize how men have been mistreated (although that is a worthy subject to address). It categorizes the asinine remarks made to men who raise valid concerns about misandry (and some remarks on Uccellina’s site certainly fall under the list’s purview).

“Examples of the ‘shaming language’ used by women/feminists against anti-feminist men include such phrases as ‘You’re bitter!’ and ‘You need to get over your anger at women,’ to which the author proposes the response should be ‘Anger is a legitimate emotion in the face of injustice.’ The inverse is not considered valid, however; ‘angry,’ ‘bitter,’ and ‘bitchy’ women are not expressing ‘legitimate emotion,’ but are simply angry, bitter, and bitchy.”

I get it. Nobody takes the outrage of women seriously. Rape shield laws, domestic violence laws, anti-discriminaton laws, Title IX, Emily’s List, the Ford Foundation, affirmative action in jobs/education/ad nauseam, popular media showing women taking vengeance on men … all of these things just don’t exist!

“‘Code Lavender’ is frequently found on MRA blogs
when male commenters dissent from the party line.”

Let’s see … when men question the manhood of a male feminist, they are committing Code Lavender (see list of shaming tactics), but when a feminist questions the womanhood of a conservative woman, she is …. ? And, of course, if we are going to cherry-pick comments on blogs the way Uccellina does, let’s not overlook her defenders’ use of Code Lavender.

If a man takes a self-loathing view of his own sex, then it is understandable why others may question his masculinity (given that he questions it himself). This is different from attacking men who refuse to be doormats for women or refuse to live up to the antiquated model of misguided chivalry and being wage slaves. In the latter sense, questioning a man’s sexual identity or masculinity is ridiculous, but gynocentrists do it just the same, don’t they? As it is, feminists have a wonderful penchant for flip-flopping. They may see “strong men” as being problematic (“strong women” are never a problem), but some of them will then turn around and accuse a fellow of not being a “strong man” if he doesn’t go along with their song and dance.

“The ‘Charge of Misogyny’ is listed as a shaming tactic, as to which the author says ‘One may ask the accuser how does a pro-male agenda become inherently anti-female (especially since feminists often claim that gains for men and women are “not a zero-sum game”).’ This response, of course, assumes that the agenda is pro-male and not anti-female, a claim not entirely supported by the popular MRA website menarebetterthanwomen.com …”

Excellent. Cherry-pick a few sites, find some sharply worded posts about feminists or female behavior, and portray every MRA as a man who hates all human beings born with XX chromosomes. Uccellina has just validated what I believe about the “Charge of Misogyny” as a shaming tactic! Come on. Do we really want to play the game of quotations, my dear feminist readers?

“These blogs and websites represent a surprisingly large chunk of internet voices (though not as large as, say, blogs devoted to Star Trek), and they are, for the most part, very, very angry. The CDC, hardly a feminist organization, has a fact sheet on what they term ‘Intimate Partner Violence’. Risk factors for being abused include

  • being female (!)
  • for women, having a greater education level than their partner’s
  • dominance and control of the relationship by the male.

Risk factors for being a perpetrator?

  • Anger and hostility
  • belief in strict gender roles (e.g., male dominance and aggression in relationships)
  • desire for power and control in relationships
  • dominance and control of the relationship by the male.

I certainly do not mean to suggest that any of the bloggers or site-administrators listed above are abusers themselves. But they are part of and feeding into a culture of anger and violence against women. I read their blogs because, as individual screeds, they amuse me. But I do not dismiss them, because as a collective voice of aggression and hostility, they bear watching.”

Erm, there are actually quite a few other risk factors that play into the equation of domestic violence, as the CDC itself attests (e.g., low self-esteem, low income, drug/alcohol abuse, etc.). Concerning these risk factors, the CDC states: “A combination of individual, relational, community, and societal factors contribute to the risk of being a victim or perpetrator of IPV. Understanding these multilevel factors can help identify various points of prevention intervention.” But of course, Uccellina conveniently ignore this truth and goes for the facile, feministic paradigm of understanding domestic violence (isolate the risk factors that focus exclusively on men and blow them out of proportion). By the way, I certainly do not mean to suggest that Uccellina is an abuser herself, but considering her own criteria for domestic violence, perhaps feminists like her are “feeding into a culture of anger and violence” against men. Or maybe it’s high time that feminist like her get a clue about the real nature of domestic violence.

In closing, I find it strange that certain blogs and related sites which are supposedly less populous than the cyberpace inhabited by Trekkies are sites which nonetheless “bear watching.” It strikes me that while Uccellina tries to downplay the significance of MRA sites, she still wants to portray us as some ill-defined threat to women everywhere. In short, my readers, this is why I don’t take the collective intelligence of feminist blogging seriously. Outside of Ampersand, most of the blogging is shrill, estrogen-laced histronics, or hand-wringing, self-flagellating exercises of male penitence (ala Hugo Schwyzer’s blog). Yep. I see a chick just fell from the nest.

Advertisements
01
Sep
06

Thanks for Showing Me Where My Alimony Payment Went

… And thank you Ford for showing men what they can look forward to in this society.

08
Aug
06

Straight from the Horse’s Mouth

I came across an article by a woman who wants to counter the influence of the “feminist bashers” by uniting “around core concerns” and harnessing “a third wave.” Whatever. It’s simply another plaintive cry for more of the same intellectually bankrupt nonsense that has come to epitomize feminism (all caged, of course, in lofty language that sounds harmless enough to the uninformed).

At any rate, I found this quote striking:

“We need to harness the beginnings of a third wave of feminism. A unified movement must include those who feminism has failed to reach in the past, such as men, many ethnic minority women, working-class women, and young women.” [emphasis mine]

Well, there you have it. Straight from the horse’s mouth. Mind you, this statement comes not from just any woman. Dr. Katherine Rake, director of the Fawcett Society, is the one making this observation. She is the top gun at a feminist organization.

I thought I would never see the day when a leading feminist would admit that feminism has not been about following groups: men, minority women, working-class women, and young women. Who has it been about? Well, by process of elimination, we can gather that it has been about aging, white, upper professional women. Yep, that sounds about right when you look at the leaders of the feminist movement. I thank you for that embarrasing admission, Dr. Rake …. even if your fellow feminists won’t.

03
Aug
06

To the Leaders and Participants of the Men’s Movement (Guest Editorial)

[The following is a guest editorial by the blogger from the site Russian Women. His editorial is reprinted here by his request …]

For some time now I’ve taken an interest in the various elements of the Men’s Movement and have wanted to advocate a different line of thinking that I believe will significantly advance the well being of Western men everywhere.

Most of us intimately know the abyss of pain that comes with the dissolution of a marriage. A pain that is often compounded with the seperation of children from our active presence. There is no doubt to most of us that a deeply imbalanced society has delivered a cruel irony that shreds at the very purpose we men have in elevating society itself through the raising of our families.

The road to happiness is further obstructed when we as men try to establish meaningful relationships with women. However noble our pursuit we are still faced with degraded options, toxic behaviors and jaded material expectations.

Often all available roads lead to a broken heart that cannot easily be repaired.

In the modern women that surround us we unfortunately face an adversary that we actually want to love. However because that desire is turned against us, to pursue them romantically would likely spell our own demise. In the absence of trust.. in the absence of support.. in the absence of sacrifice.. we are faced with a grim calculus of competing interests. And like it or not.. for the sake of ourselves, for our future progeny, and for the very future of society itself we must change this equation.

The only way to do this is to first understand it’s underlying cause which I have known to be simple economics. Not the economics of money or finance but the more basic economics of supply and demand.

Men qualified to be successful husbands vs. women qualified to be successful wives.

When our own society starts to promote the very idea that being a wife is undesirable then the number of women (supply) who are even willing to consider the responsibilities of marriage falls dramatically and this leads to a vicious cycle of demand on the part of men that can never be met though traditional means.

If we realize the cause then the solution becomes obvious in that we should open up every man’s range of choices outside of the traditional domestic domain. For some this may mean looking towards Asia or South America while for many others like myself that path lead to the beautiful and traditional women of Russia and the FSU.

At the heart of most Men’s issues are problems surrounding women. Our own emotional health is heavily dependent on our ability to be naturally loved and nourished with women who are loving supporters and not competitors. Because of this I believe that the Men’s Movement should transition it’s primary advocacy more towards the expansion of relationship choices that we can all benefit from.

It is well known that despair comes from a feeling of helplessness in the face of long term problems while confidence comes from the realization of positive choices ahead. If we again take the economics approach and “open up the market” of options available to us then the anti-male hostility that is so present in our time will dissipate with the wind in short order.

As we all know it takes two to tango but if we collectively select a newer and better partner then someone will be embarassingly left alone on the dance floor to hold their own handbag full of poison.

It’s clear that the existing areas of focus that the Men’s Movement promotes will still remain critically important for the foreseeable future. However the stark warning that I issue is that we do not use the past history of the Women’s movement with it’s never ending focus on victim-hood as a model for our own. Instead we can focus on actual solutions that bring real joy and strength for our future.

Or in the humorous words of one of my friends,

“We can gaze at our belly or we can look towards the sky..”

Gentlemen thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,

The Editor, Russian Women blog

06
Jun
06

New Entry for the Catalog of Anti-Male Shaming Tactics

Recently, I came up with the “Catalog of Anti-Male Shaming Tactics” to categorize the primary ways in which men are shamed and ridiculed when they discuss matters related to Men’s Rights Activism. If you have not done so, I suggest you look at the list. Anyway, I have thought of a new entry. The Catalog will be revised with the following addition:

Charge of Defeatism (Code Maroon)

Discussion: This shaming tactic is akin to the Charge of Irascibility and the Charge of Cowardice in that the accuser attacks the target’s negative or guarded attitude about a situation. However, the focus is not so much on the target’s anger or fear, but on the target’s supposed attitude of resignation. Examples:

  • “Stop being so negative.”
  • “You are so cynical.”
  • “If you refuse to have relationships with women, then you are admitting defeat.”
  • “C’mon! Men are doers, not quitters.”

Response: The charge of defeatism can be diffused by explaining that one is merely being realistic about a situation. Also, one can point out that asking men to just accept their mistreatment at the hands of women and society is the real attitude that is defeatist. Many men have not lost their resolve; many have lost their patience.

I am fast running out of colors to code the shaming tactics. I suppose gynocentrists have as many ways to snipe at men as there are shades and hues in a 32-bit color palette. If the Charge of Optimism was a shaming tactic, I’d have to designate it as Code Rose.

27
May
06

The Catalog of Anti-Male Shaming Tactics

"Shaming tactics."  This phrase is familiar to many Men’s Rights Activists.  It conjures up the histrionic behavior of female detractors who refuse to argue their points with logic.  Yet women are not the only ones guilty of using shaming tactics against men.  Male gynocentrists use them, too.

Shaming tactics are emotional devices meant to play on a man’s insecurities and shut down debate.  They are meant to elicit sympathy for women and to demonize men who ask hard questions.  Most, if not all, shaming tactics are basically ad homimem attacks. 

Anyway, it might be helpful to categorize the major shaming tactics that are used against men whenever a discussion arises about feminism, men’s issues, romance, etc.  The following list contains descriptions of shaming tactics, some examples of quotes employing the tactics, and even color-coded aliases for mnemonic purposes.  Enjoy.

Charge of Irascibility (Code Red)

Discussion: The target is accused of having anger management issues.  Whatever negative emotions he has are assumed to be unjustifiable.  Examples:

  • "You’re bitter!"
  • "You need to get over your anger at women."
  • "You are so negative!"

Response: Anger is a legitimate emotion in the face of injustice.   It is important to remember that passive acceptance of evil is not a virtue.

Charge of Cowardice (Code Yellow)

Discussion: The target is accused of having an unjustifiable fear of interaction with women.  Examples:

  • "You need to get over your fear."
  • "Step up and take a chance like a man!"
  • "You’re afraid of a strong woman!"

Response: It is important to remember that there is a difference between bravery and stupidity.  The only risks that reasonable people dare to take are calculated risks.  One weighs the likely costs and benefits of said risks.  As it is, some men are finding out that many women fail a cost-benefit analysis.

Charge of Hypersensitivity (Code Blue) – The Crybaby Charge

Discussion: The target is accused of being hysterical or exaggerating the problems of men (i.e., he is accused of playing "Chicken Little").  Examples:

  • "Stop whining!"
  • "Get over it!"
  • "Suck it up like a man!"
  • "You guys don’t have it as nearly as bad as us women!"
  • "You’re just afraid of losing your male privileges."
  • "Your fragile male ego …"
  • "Wow!  You guys need to get a grip!"

Response: One who uses the Code Blue shaming tactic reveals a callous indifference to the humanity of men.  It may be constructive to confront such an accuser and ask if a certain problem men face needs to be addressed or not ("yes" or "no"), however small it may be seem to be.  If the accuser answers in the negative, it may constructive to ask why any man should care about the accuser’s welfare since the favor will obviously not be returned.  If the accuser claims to be unable to do anything about the said problem, one can ask the accuser why an attack is necessary against those who are doing something about it.

Charge of Puerility (Code Green) – The Peter Pan Charge

Discussion: The target is accused of being immature and/or irresponsible in some manner that reflects badly on his status as an adult male.  Examples:

  • "Grow up!"
  • "You are so immature!"
  • "Do you live with your mother?"
  • "I’m not interested in boys.  I’m interested in real men."
  • "Men are shirking their God-given responsibility to marry and bear children."

Response: It should be remembered that one’s sexual history, marital status, parental status, etc. are not reliable indicators of maturity and accountability.  If they were, then we would not hear of white collar crime, divorce, teen sex, unplanned pregnancies, extramarital affairs, etc.

Charge of Endangerment (Code Orange) – The Elevated Threat Charge

Discussion: The target is accused of being a menace in some undefined manner.  This charge may be coupled with some attempt to censor the target.  Examples:

  • "You guys are scary."
  • "You make me feel afraid."

Response: It may be constructive to point out that only bigots and tyrants are afraid of having the truth expressed to them.  One may also ask why some women think they can handle leadership roles if they are so threatened by a man’s legitimate freedom of expression.

Charge of Rationalization (Code Purple) – The Sour Grapes Charge

Discussion: The target is accused of explaining away his own failures and/or dissatisfaction by blaming women for his problems.  Example:

  • "You are just bitter because you can’t get laid."

Response: In this case, it must be asked if it really matters how one arrives at the truth.  In other words, one may submit to the accuser, "What if the grapes really are sour?"  At any rate, the Code Purple shaming tactic is an example of what is called "circumstantial ad hominem."

Charge of Fanaticism (Code Brown) – The Brown Shirts Charge

Discussion: The target is accused of subscribing to an intolerant, extremist ideology or of being devoted to an ignorant viewpoint.  Examples:

  • "You’re one of those right-wing wackos."
  • "You’re an extremist"
  • "You sound like the KKK."
  • "… more anti-feminist zaniness"

Response: One should remember that the truth is not decided by the number of people subscribing to it.  Whether or not certain ideas are "out of the mainstream" is besides the point.  A correct conclusion is also not necessarily reached by embracing some middle ground between two opposing viewpoints (i.e., the logical fallacy of "False Compromise").

Charge of Invirility (Code Lavender)

Discussion: The target’s sexual orientation or masculinity is called into question.  Examples:

  • "Are you gay?"
  • "I need a real man, not a sissy."
  • "You’re such a wimp."

Response: Unless one is working for religious conservatives, it is usually of little consequence if a straight man leaves his accusers guessing about his sexual orientation.

Charge of Overgeneralization (Code Gray)

Discussion: The target is accused of making generalizations or supporting unwarranted stereotypes about women.  Examples:

  • "I’m not like that!"
  • "Stop generalizing!"
  • "That’s a sexist stereotype!"

Response: One may point out that feminists and many other women make generalizations about men.  Quotations from feminists, for example, can be easily obtained to prove this point.  Also, one should note that pointing to a trend is not the same as overgeneralizing.  Although not all women may have a certain characteristic, a significant amount of them might. 

Charge of Misogyny (Code Black)

Discussion: The target is accused of displaying some form of unwarranted malice to a particular woman or to women in general.
Examples:

  • "You misogynist creep!"
  • "Why do you hate women?"
  • "Do you love your mother?"
  • "You are insensitive to the plight of women."
  • "You are mean-spirited."
  • "You view women as doormats."
  • "You want to roll back the rights of women!!"
  • "You are going to make me cry."

Response: One may ask the accuser how does a pro-male agenda become inherently anti-female (especially since feminists often claim that gains for men and women are "not a zero-sum game").  One may also ask the accuser how do they account for women who agree with the target’s viewpoints. The Code Black shaming tactic often integrates the logical fallacies of "argumentum ad misericordiam" (viz., argumentation based on pity for women) and/or "argumentum in terrorem" (viz., arousing fear about what the target wants to do to women).

Charge of Instability (Code White) – The White Padded Room Charge

Discussion: The target is accused of being emotionally or mentally unstable.  Examples:

  • "You’re unstable."
  • "You have issues."
  • "You need therapy."
  • "Weirdo!"

Response: In response to this attack, one may point to peer-reviewed literature and then ask the accuser if the target’s mental and/or emotional condition can explain the existence of valid research on the matter.

Charge of Selfishness (Code Silver)

Discussion: This attack is self-explanatory.  It is a common charge hurled at men who do not want to be bothered with romantic pursuits.  Examples:

  • "You are so materialistic."
  • "You are so greedy."

Response: It may be beneficial to turn the accusation back on the one pressing the charge.  For instance, one may retort, "So you are saying I shouldn’t spend my money on myself, but should instead spend it on a woman like you —and you accuse me of being selfish?? Just what were you planning to do for me anyway?"

Charge of Superficiality (Code Gold) – The All-That-Glitters Charge

Discussion: The charge of superficiality is usually hurled at men with regard to their mating preferences.  Examples:

  • "If you didn’t go after bimbos, then …"
  • "How can you be so shallow and turn down a single mother?"

Response: Average-looking women can be just as problematic in their behavior as beautiful, "high-maintanence" women. Regarding the shallowness of women, popular media furnishes plenty of examples where petty demands are made of men by females (viz., those notorious laundry lists of things a man should/should not do for his girlfriend or wife). 

Charge of Unattractiveness (Code Tan) – The Ugly Tan Charge

Discussion: The target is accused of having no romantic potential as far as women are concerned.  Examples:

  • "I bet you are fat and ugly."
  • "You can’t get laid!"
  • "Creep!"
  • "Loser!"
  • "Have you thought about the problem being you?"

Response: This is another example of "circumstantial ad hominem."  The target’s romantic potential ultimately does not reflect on the merit of his arguments.

Charge of Defeatism (Code Maroon)

Discussion: This shaming tactic is akin to the Charge of Irascibility and the Charge of Cowardice in that the accuser attacks the target’s negative or guarded attitude about a situation.  However, the focus is not so much on the target’s anger or fear, but on the target’s supposed attitude of resignation.  Examples:

  • "Stop being so negative."
  • "You are so cynical."
  • "If you refuse to have relationships with women, then you are admitting defeat."
  • "C’mon! Men are doers, not quitters."

Response: The charge of defeatism can be diffused by explaining that one is merely being realistic about a situation.  Also, one can point out that asking men to just accept their mistreatment at the hands of women and society is the real attitude that is defeatist.  Many men have not lost their resolve; many have lost their patience.

Threat of Withheld Affection (Code Pink) – The Pink Whip

Discussion: The target is admonished that his viewpoints or behavior will cause women to reject him as a mate.  Examples:

  • "No woman will marry you with that attitude."
  • "Creeps like you will never get laid!"

Response: This is an example of the logical fallacy "argumentum ad baculum" (the "appeal to force").  The accuser attempts to negate the validity of a position by pointing to some undesirable circumstance that will befall anyone who takes said position.  Really, the only way to deal with the "Pink Whip" is to realize that a man’s happiness and worth is not based on his romantic conquests (including marriage).

——–
(Updated June 6, 2006)

05
May
06

Why Should Christian Men Marry? (Confronting Anti-Male Bigotry in Churches)

Have you ever heard of Carolyn McCulley? Carolyn is an Evangelical commentator who recently wrote a book entitled Did I Kiss Marriage Goodbye? She also attends the same church where the reputable Evangelical author Joshua Harris preaches. At Carolyn’s website there is a quote from another woman writer, Elisabeth Elliot, that is noteworthy:

“Everywhere my husband and I go we meet lovely Christian women, beautifully dressed, deeply spiritual, thoroughly feminine–and single. They long for marriage and children. But what is it with the men? Are they blind to feminine pulchritude, deaf to God’s call, numb to natural desire? . . . Where are the holy men of God willing to shoulder the full responsibility of manhood, to take the risks and make the sacrifices of courting and winning a wife, marrying her and fathering children in obedience to the command to be fruitful? While the Church has been blessed by men willing to remain single for the sake of the Kingdom (and I do not regard lightly such men who are seriously called), isn’t it obvious that God calls most men to marriage? By not marrying, those whom He calls are disobeying Him, and thus are denying the women He meant for them to marry the privileges of being wife and mother.”

Well, this is a serious charge for someone to be making against religious men. It’s not the first time the charge has been made and it will probably not be the last. Because of its serious nature (accusing men of being disobedient to God), it merits an answer. Here’s the short answer: You are way off base, Mrs. Elliot (as is Ms. McCulley and many others). Why do you and so many other religious pundits wonder aloud about the spirituality of single Christian men? I expect anti-male sexism from feminists, but that it also comes from many so-called “Bible-Believing” religious leaders is mind-blowing. It’s utterly scandalous and a reproach to the name of Jesus. Let’s get a few things straight about the Anti-Bachelor Marriage Craze currently infecting some pundits, shall we?

It’s Not in the Bible

First of all, and most importantly, the idea that God mandates most people to marry (pronuptialism) is a blatantly unscriptural idea. I have already dealt with the exegetical weaknesses behind this doctrine (see the essays “Does God Expect Most Men to Get Married?” and “How the Marriage Movement Misuses 1 Corinthians, Chapter Seven“). Ladies and gentlemen, you can drop James Dobson, Joshua Harris, Albert Mohler, Debbie Maken, every single one of your favorite Evangelical authors, and even John Calvin himself on one end of the scales and the Bible on the other. The Bible wins hands down, every single time. I don’t care how popular someone is. If their exegesis is off, then they aren’t speaking as the oracles of God (1 Peter 4:11).

It’s Not a Harmless Doctrine

Secondly, I do not believe the doctrine of pronuptialism is a harmless doctrine. I think it has the potential for making a shipwreck of people’s faith. For one thing, imagine a young soul being told he has no control over his sexual desires and therefore he has to marry (a notion based on a popular misreading of 1 Corinthians 7:2, 7:8-9). The problem is that he hasn’t won the obligatory popularity contest with the opposite sex. He remains single and frustrated. He gets angry at God because he assumes his Creator has given him an appetite that he can neither check nor lawfully sate. Robbed of any confidence he might have in controlling himself, he reasons, “I can’t help my feelings therefore I am going to do something illicit.”

Then there is another young man who looks at the onerous burden of marriage, all of the obligatory social expectations, the fallout from failed unions, etc. and shies away from matrimony. But here come the religious leaders to point their fingers at this young man and shame him for his choices. So, he gets bitter and drops out of church, or he ill-advisedly enters into marriage out of obligation to a social custom (not because he has any substantive feelings for his wife). The seeds of an unhappy marriage are thus sown. In short, the idea that most people have no choice but to marry needs to have a spear driven through it Phineas-style.

God created marriage as a gift, not as a requirement. It’s true that human beings were made with reproductive organs, but God gave us mastery over our desires. Thus, it can be said that marriage was made for man but not man for marriage. Evangelicals, like the Pharisees who became legalistic about the Sabbath, have gone overboard with their pro-marriage agenda, falling into a pit of absurdity. The kingdom of God is a spiritual kingdom, not a physical one. We are not under the Old Covenant of Israel anymore, therefore God’s kingdom is not preserved by family lineage (Matthew 3:9; Luke 8:20-21; Luke 12:51-53). That is, the kingdom increases by sharing the Gospel (Matthew 27:19; Romans 1:16-17; James 1:18), not by making babies and filling padded pews with third-generation parishioners. And what if no one gets married and has children? Gasp! Well, do you think the “game of love” is going to go on forever (Psalm 102:25-26; 2 Peter 3:10-13; Mark 12:25)?

Why Men Aren’t Stepping Up (Like Sheep to the Slaughter)

Why do people keeping ignoring the 300-pound gorillas in the room? Are the pundits clued in to the real reasons why religious men are refusing to marry? For any Christian ladies reading this, let me offer some possible reasons …

Money

It takes money to raise a family, Sherlock. We are not in Kansas anymore, and we don’t grow our own food. Many Christian women expect to stay home, have a brood of children, and yet live quite comfortably. Where do they get the idea that God will necessarily bless us with creature comforts? Don’t parrot the line, “God will provide.” I don’t need the sham promise of a materialistic, prosperity theology. Shall we suppose that godliness is an automatic “means of gain” (1 Timothy 6:3-11)? What on earth are some Christian women thinking? That every Christian man has a shot at a cushy, middle management job in some Silicon Valley outfit?

Let me direct your gaze to the social pyramid that stands before you, ladies. Where is the middle class? Yeah, it’s shrinking isn’t it? Carolyn McCulley points to some guy as the model of what male “servant-leadership looks like in a godly home.” No he isn’t a model. The guy in question has a comfortable position in the upper echelons of our corrupt, bloated government. Forgive me for being blunt, but Carolyn and all her middle-class, yuppie cohorts on the Evangelical writer circuit need to come down to earth where many of us live with low-paying jobs, increased costs of living, and other stressors in our daily lives.

What do the religious pundits expect rank and file men to do? Barely live from paycheck to paycheck just so we have the luxury–yes I said luxury (Luke 12:15; Luke 14:26; 1 Corinthians 7:29-31)–of having a housewife and three kids? Is that the message they preach from the lecterns of their comfortable, posh megachurches? Yep, go ahead and bind heavy burdens on religious men, but refuse to lift a finger to help them. Where have we seen this before (Matthew 23:4)?

Arrogance about Sex Roles

We hear about how men need to take the lead in relationships, need to fill the roll of “the provider,” etc. We read that women should pick men who are “physically, mentally, and spiritually” stronger than they are (Jaye Martin, “The Marks of a Godly Husband,” The Tie, Winter 2005, pg. 17). Hmm. Let’s consider those attributes, shall we? I wonder what happens when a man gets a disability and his wife has to care for him. Does he cease being a man since he is no longer physically strong? What about mental strength? I guess a college-educated woman has to pass up a man with a high school education, even though he’s wonderful in every other way. And spiritual strength? We are all called to be mature in Christ, but don’t tell Jaye Martin that.

Seriously, are we using the same Bible? Where is all of this stuff about “Biblical Manhood” spelled out in the New Testament, the spiritual law under which Christians live (Hebrews 8:1-13)? Let’s see … do you want to sling 1 Timothy 5:8 at me, for instance? That passage is not talking about male breadwinners. The original language, grammar, and context point to those of either sex needing to take care of family members in need. That so many self-appointed experts on “Biblical manhood” rip this and other passages out of context is utterly astounding.

Anyway, if Christian women are so adamant about following traditional roles, why don’t they stay at home with their parents, learn how to cook, clean, etc., instead of going to work and competing with men for scare jobs in a tight job market? I think I know the answer. So many “conservative” women have jumped aboard the neo-traditionalist bandwagon. Do you think I exaggerate? Willard Harley, a popular author among many Evangelicals describes the type of man that women supposedly find “irresistible”:

“He assumes the responsibility to house, feed, and clothe the family. If his income is insufficient to provide essential support, he resolves the problem by upgrading his skills to increase his salary. He does not work long hours, keeping himself from his wife and family, but is able to provide necessary support by working a forty to forty-five-hour week. While he encourages his wife to pursue a career, he does not depend on her salary for family living expenses.”

Ah yes. What’s yours is yours. What’s mine is yours. Here’s the kicker: I know that many of you ladies don’t want to really go back to the time of your grandmothers and have your opportunities limited. You don’t want to make the kind of sacrifices in your personal lives that many women in the past had to make. Yet you want us men to live by the old codes of chivalry. You want to make us lie down in the mire, while you step on our backs to get inside the carriage that summarily rides away from us. You want to have your cake and eat it, too. Bottom line: Your neo-traditionalism is a sick joke, a pathetic double-standard.

Moreover, your views on “Biblical manhood” and romantic relationships are just as unrealistic and demeaning as all the airbrushed, photoshopped images put out by Playboy. In your marriages, you expect some sort of Superman who will make all of the hard decisions for you, read your mind, and somehow arrive at the choices you would pick. He will be emotionally strong, never have any fears, doubts, uncertainties, vulnerabilities, weakness, or (gasp) needs. The husband you want is not human. Indeed, I wonder why so many marriages in the Evangelical community end in divorce. You ladies need to get your head out of your Christian romance novels and deal with life.

Who is the Real Shallow One?

Speaking of romance novels–ladies, do you believe us men are the shallower sex? Yes, we are the ones that supposedly don’t accept you because you are morbidly obese. Cry me a river. You want to excoriate us for our physical preferences in women, even thought it’s pretty much proven that men are visually attracted to the opposite sex. Well God made us this way. A lot of young women used to die in childbirth before modern medicine. Did you think God thought it expedient for us to seek out women who don’t physically take care of themselves? Well, at least the answer to this question never got in the way of you seeking out someone taller or “physically stronger” (How many times have I read that your dream man “must be athletic”?). These attributes, while acceptable, have nothing to do with the character of a man. So, why aren’t you accused of being shallow and “hung up on looks”?

And what about judging us by the amount of money we make? I haven’t heard a sermon on how women need to stop objectifying men in this way, lately. Have you? Again, you compete with us for our jobs, but you refuse to marry us when we make less money than you (because your concept of “Biblical manhood” rests on the size of our paycheck, of all things). Then you wonder where all the men are at the end of day. Surprise, surprise. You priced yourselves out of the market, sweeties.

Sex – Yes I Said The Word!

Not too long ago, Stephen Arterburn and two other men wrote a book entitled Every Man’s Battle : Winning the War on Sexual Temptation One Victory at a Time. In essence, the book portrays men as wanton beasts and women as passive victims of male lechery (although one Amazon.com review entitled, “A Mixed Bag” has some shocking things to say about the “fairer sex”). This is not the first time men have been harangued for there sexual behavior. Everywhere, Christian men are confronted by the same unflattering stereotypes: Male sexuality is so suspicious. It is so dangerous. People need to rein all our sons and brothers in with stern, Biblical teaching. Really?

Who demeans sex? Is it the male philander? The man who gawks at physically attractive women? What about the wife who uses it for her own ambitions!? Yes, I typed that. It is sad to know that there are religious women who are so conniving in this regard. Ladies, let me inform you of something: Sex isn’t just about having children. Is marriage just the means of getting a trophy husband and trophy children so you could be among the Martha Stewart glitterati at church? Some of you probably want children for the same reason girls go overboard and collect dolls. Human beings in this case just become pawns to boost your ego. Alas, the desire to be a mother isn’t always noble (especially when men get treated as nothing more than glorified sperm donors).

Also, some of you see sex as something to be rationed out for a husband’s good behavior. If he mows the lawn on Thursday, you’ll passively allow yourself to be used on Friday. Utterly sad. Sex is what two married people who love each other do for the sheer intrinsic worth of it (Proverbs 5:18-19; 1 Corinthians 7:2-5). In the Good Book, it says the two shall become one flesh (Matthew 19:4-5). It’s that simple. That means if he wants you to dress up in exotic sleepwear and play Sex Queen from the Planet Venus, then you better drop the hang-ups from your childhood (which are probably the result of listening to too many sermons from old, cornpone preachers). And if you can’t do that, make an appointment with a counselor. It’s your turn to start being “understanding” of “your partner’s needs.”

Oh by way, single men can live without sex. It is ridiculous that so many religious pundits are utterly schizophrenic about male sexuality. Look, either we have the power of self-control or we don’t. Which way is it?? If we don’t have the power of self-control, no one can blame us for being like a bunch of sex-crazed farm animals that seek out porn, prostitution, and whatever else to sate our immediate desires. If, on the other hand, we do have the power of self-control (which I believe we do), then don’t try to frighten us into marriage by saying most people aren’t gifted to handle singleness. And stop your evil surmising about single men.

Even at a young age, some of us are seasoned enough to see through the sham pearls of physical beauty and charm. Ladies, when you smile and fluff your hair, we can just give ourselves peace of mind by looking the other way. We know what physically attracts us, but we are not obligated to pursue it.

If all else were equal, then sexual desire would be a compelling enough motivation to seek out female companionship. But else isn’t equal. There are so many other variables that have bearing upon a man’s physical, mental, and spiritual well-being when considering the company of women.

We are Not Your Whipping Boys

Some of you are really like the feminists deep down side. For you, it’s women good, men bad. If something goes wrong in your lives, well, it must be because of something men did or failed to do. Too many churches and ministries have sold out to the spirit of male-bashing. For instance, we have Promise Keepers to keep men on the straight and narrow, but where are the football stadiums full of women promising to be better wives and mothers? Are you women so infallible? Are you so untainted from the ungodliness in this culture?

Men have beaten down too much. We are told that we are insensitive; then we are told we are being too wimpy. We are too told that we need to be industrious and ambitious; then we are old that we work too much and don’t pay enough attention to our families. We were shamed for our desires for women; and now we are shamed for not desiring women. We are getting sick and tired of the blame game.

Why do religious pundits push this nonsense? Is it because of the fact that mostly women fill the pews and someone doesn’t want to offend the core audience? I hazard to guess which sex consults most of the books and media put out by the “relationship experts.” Who wants to bite the hand that feeds them? Really, this all looks like a replay of what the Apostle Paul complained about in 2 Timothy 3:6-7.

Women Behaving Badly

Men are beginning to understand that having relationships with women is a high-risk activity of uncertain benefit. Which sex initiates the most no-fault divorces? Which sex often gets bankrupted by court-ordered alimony and child support settlements of astronomical proportions? Which sex gets custody of the children most of the time? Which sex is often the target of false charges of spousal abuse (even though many studies prove that both sexes initiate spousal abuse at comparable rates)? Who often gets removed from their property and thrown in jail merely because of an unproven allegation by the other spouse? Which sex is often forced to pay child support for offspring who are not even related to the one paying that support? Simply put, the family laws on the books are decidedly stacked against men.

Courting among a religious group is no protection for a man, either. Christian women can break up families just like their secular counterparts. Divorce statistics among Evangelicals are scandalous. Too many churches have a lax attitude towards the practice of divorce and serial monogamy. So, where are the cries of reform from the marriage mafia?

But that’s not all. So many of you ladies used to chase the “bad boys” and the guys who were exciting and attractive by the world’s standards (or even by the church’s standards) but who weren’t really spiritual. In your youth, you snubbed many of us who dreamed of being married to a godly woman. Now the chickens have come home to roost. Your biological clocks are ticking. All of a sudden, Christian men that were formerly invisible to you somehow have the responsibility to line up and submit a job application to you for the position of Hubby. Give. Me. A. Break.

It’s All About You, Snookums

In short, too many conservative women have only cared about restricting sex, shaming bachelors into marriage, shaming men into old restrictive sex roles, and pretty much preserving the sex cartel and system of male wage slavery. Being a responsible husband to one of these women would be nice if they (a) stopped playing the hypocrite with regard to honoring traditional sex roles (e.g., they compete with us for our jobs, but they still expect us to make more than them); (b) realized that Corporate America no longer pays hubby well for the financing of their Cinderella dreams; (c) stopped treating us like walking ATMs; (d) realized that sex isn’t just for having children; (e) realized sex is something to be enjoyed, not something to be rationed out only when men perform certain tasks; (f) repented of putting down men; (g) repented of their crypto-feminism; and (h) appreciated what Men’s Rights Activists fight for. The ugly truth no one wants to face is this: Religious and politically conservative women in English-speaking countries have, in many cases, imbibed the sentiments of female entitlement, professional victimhood, and anti-male sexism found in the larger culture. So, it’s not enough to be just anti-feminist. You must be for men. You are either with us or against us, ladies. If you are not fully with us, stay out of lives, so that we can stay free from the leaven of your self-centeredness and malice.

Conclusion

Now what will be the reaction to what I said just far? Forget about the threats and shaming tactics, ladies. Too many women dismiss men’s problems with the attitude that we should “stop being so bitter,” “stop whining,” “get over it,” “show initiative,” “keep trying,” and “suck it up.” Women who voice these sentiments tell us all we need to know about them. As long as everything is going well in their little world, they don’t care about what’s going on in ours. If these women are not willing to listen to our concerns before we marry them, they are probably not willing to do so afterwards. They have nothing to offer us in the way of emotional support.

Ladies, stop and consider: Wanting you is not the same as needing you. That many of you wrap so much of your expectations into the institution of marriage is pathetic. You treat it as some sort of spiritual nirvana that will provide the answers to just about all of life’s problems. But for many of us men, God has carried us thus far through loneliness, social ostracization, and unrequited desire. He is able of carrying us much further (Philippians 4:11-13; 1 Timothy 6:6). He gives us a genuine choice about pursuing marriage (1 Corinthians 7:37-38). We can find our happiness and self-worth without you.

As for the religious pundits that speak soothing things into the ears of women, I call all religious men to stand up and recognize these spin doctors for the spiritual Philistines that they are. I hope that us men will turn against the ungodly ministries of these people and check their influence. Our worth as men is God-given, not derived from fulfilling some religious chick’s dreams.